By Guest Blogger Jennifer Toback, A Music Teacher in NYC
Thinking about checking out The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure? As a music teacher and a mom to two little girls, this movie got my four year old daughter Allegra up and dancing so joyfully to all of the songs throughout the film. It was as if we got two for one: a movie and a live concert. She is still singing the songs days later! We had a fantastic time at the New York premiere at Alice Tully Hall on August 27th. (Read More after the jump)
The Oogieloves is a preschool-friendly movie. So, if you have little ones, they’re going to love it (who cares what adult critics say). The film was written by Scott Stabile and produced by Ken Viselman, who was behind the American localization of the British children’s series “Teletubbies” and “Thomas and Friends.” He created a children’s film in the vein of “Teletubbies” with the interactive aspect, allowing the children to sing, dance, and respond to the characters on screen. This aspect of the film was very refreshing and entertaining for all the children watching it. With the characters’ rhyming names and interactive instructions for kids to follow along, this movie brings Dora and Diego style of engaging kids to the big screen where teamwork and friendship are emphasized.
The story is that on Schluufy’s birthday, the Oogieloves (Goobie, Zoozie and Toofie), and their friends J. Edgar, Windy Window and Ruffy, work on organizing a surprise party. Everything is going as planned until J. Edgar trips and loses the last five magical balloons in all of Lovelyloveville, prompting The Oogieloves set out on their bikes, to find the magical balloons in time for the party. Along the way, they meet some very interesting characters including Dotty Rounder (Cloris Leachman), Bobby Wobbly (Cary Elwes), Marvin Milkshake (Chazz Palminteri), Rosalie Rosebud (Toni Braxton) and Lola and Lero Sombrero (Christopher Lloyd and Jaime Pressly). These new friends help them recover each of the magical balloons and get back to the cottage in time to celebrate their friend, Schluufy’s surprise birthday.
Before the movie all of the children were given butterfly glow sticks which they had to wave as soon as they saw the butterflies dance on the screen. This was their cue to stand up and sing along and dance. When the song was over and they saw turtles on the screen this meant sit down. Allegra was very excited each time to see the butterflies and dance and wave her glow stick. Our favorite song was when Marvin Milkshake (Chazz Palminteri) did a type of fifties song. It was very lively and fun. I don’t know if at each movie theater they will be giving these glow sticks out, but I would recommend this movie for more pre-school age rather than older children. It definitely kept them engaged and entertained throughout.
Jennifer received free passes to the premiere at Alice Tully Hall. No other compensation was received.